Entrepreneurs: Your Start at the heart of Europe

The Ruhr region offers outstanding conditions for starting a company or locating an existing company here. In the Metropole Ruhr you not only have ideal connections to customers and markets worldwide, you also receive full support in finding an ideal location and using funding opportunities to establish your company in the Ruhr region.

Ideal location in one of the largest metropolitan regions in Europe

With over five million inhabitants, the Ruhr region is the third-largest metropolitan area in the European Union, after Paris and London. The direct access to the European market is unique of its kind: over 60 million people can be reached by road from the Metropole Ruhr - in just a few hours.

No other region in Europe is as well connected with its transport network as the Ruhr region: it has the most closely-knit road network, largest rail complex, the densest system of canals and ports, the largest canal port and a transport association that carries the highest number of passengers in Europe. The largest inland port in the world is also located in Duisburg in the Ruhr region. In addition, there are two airports (Dortmund, Essen/Mülheim) in the region, with five further international airports, including Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn, within easy reach via road or rail.

Well-developed research network: Access to innovations

With 22 universities, the Ruhr region has the densest higher education network in Europe. In addition, acclaimed institutes - four Fraunhofer, three Max Planck and four Leibniz institutes - ensure a high level of research and development intensity. Together with 130 further extra-university technology and research establishments, including around 30 technology, start-up and innovation centres and 9 university transfer offices, they supply the region with the necessary innovation for the sustained strengthening of its economy.

  • Location enquiries regarding the establishment or founding of your company in the Ruhr region are processed centrally by the business development agency Wirtschaftsförderung metropoleruhr GmbH. Information on the individual services offered by our investor service can be found here:

 

Location Search
Service for Ruhr Region

RuhrGründer

General Information for Germany
From German Trade and Invest

 

Make it in Germany
Welcome Portal German Federal Government

  • Further support and general information for foreign investors is available from the following sources:

 

Germany Trade & Invest
Foreign trade and inward investment agency of the Federal Republic of Germany

 

NRW.INVEST
Business development agency of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia - a one-stop agency for investors

 

  • For young companies, start-ups and those setting up their own business, technology, start-up and innovation centres offer a stable business base on which to build. They bundle innovative activities, guarantee close contact to scientific and academic environments, make the initial phase smoother and stimulate innovation and co-operation.
  • The over 30 technology, innovation and start-up centres in the Ruhr region now provide over 600 young, innovative companies in the field of trading, the crafts, production and services with office and production space as well as the necessary infrastructure for getting started.
  • These centres are characterised above all by flexible use of space, functional rooms and modern technical infrastructure. Communal facilities and a wide range of information and consulting services support you during the start-up phase and as your company grows.
  • EU-Citizens have Special regulations. Information were provided by the Federal Government: 

Office for the Equal Treatment of EU Workers

Business Start Up Portal

Climate change, demographic transition or scarcity of resources call for new ideas and solutions from business and companies. More and more traditional companies in the Ruhr region are consequently investing increasing amounts in the development of integrated energy systems, sustainable water management, environmental technology or resource management.

The industrial core in the region offers a good starting point for these developments. The economy of the Ruhr region is analysed in the Wirtschaftsbericht Ruhr, an economic report that is published annually. This contains key economic data and figures for companies, turnover or employment in the following eight lead markets:

  • Healthcare,
  • Resource efficiency,
  • Mobility,
  • Urban development and living,
  • Sustainable consumption,
  • Digital communications, 
  • Education and knowledge,
  • Leisure and events.

Further information on lead markets in the Metropole Ruhr can be found here:

Lead markets in the Ruhr region

  • Location enquiries regarding the establishment or founding of your company in the Ruhr region are processed centrally by the business development agency Wirtschaftsförderung metropoleruhr GmbH. Information on the individual services offered by our investor service can be found here:

Location Search
Service for Ruhr region

General Information for Germany
From German Trade and Invest

  • If you would like to obtain an overview of available commercial and industrial areas in the Ruhr region, have specific requirements of a location or want a central contact for the 53 municipalities or precise analysis of the commercial situation on site, further information can be obtained here:

ruhrAGIS atlas of commercial sites
Information on commercial-industrial sites

ruhrsite real estate exchange 
Free commercial property exchange for site searches and research for companies and investors

The Ruhr region consists of 53 individual cities, towns and municipalities. Under the following link to our Wirtschaftsförderung metropoleruhr web portal you can find a list of these towns, cities and municipalities as well as further information on the economic profile of the respective town or city. In addition, you also receive an insight into the diversity of the cities, towns and municipalities of the Metropole Ruhr.

Profiles of the towns and cities of the Ruhr region

  • In fact, after Paris and London the Ruhr region is the third largest metropolitan region in Europe. Around 5.1 million people live in this region, 2.5 million of them in the Ruhr region cities of Duisburg, Oberhausen, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Bottrop, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, Bochum and Dortmund.
  • The Metropole Ruhr has a great deal to offer as far as quality of life is concerned: a broad range of cultural, sporting and leisure activities as well as a varied selection of housing options - whether you are looking for the tranquillity of the countryside or the vibrancy of the city.

Living in the Ruhr region
Information on culture, leisure, housing and sport in the Ruhr region

  • The Chambers of Commerce and Industry provide entrepreneurs in the Ruhr Region with a diverse service package.

Niederrhein Chamber of Commerce and Industry
i.a. for Duisburg, district of Wesel

Essen Chamber of Commerce and Industry
for Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Oberhausen

Middle Ruhr Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry
for Bochum, Herne, Witten and Hattingen

North-Westphalia Chamber of Commerce and Industry
i.a. for Gelsenkirchen, Bottrop, district of Recklinghausen

 

Dortmund Chamber of Commerce and Industry
for Dortmund, district of Unna and Hamm

South-Westphalian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hagen
i.a. for Hagen, Ennepe-Ruhr district

 

Tailor made and highly professional products and services are provided by the Chamber of Small Industries and Skilled Trades to private customers as well as to other industries and the public sector. Here you can find the responsible chambers for the ruhr region:

Düsseldorf Chamber of Small Industries and Skilled Trades
u.a. zuständig für Duisburg, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Oberhausen, Essen, Kreis Wesel

Dortmund Chamber of Small Industries and Skilled Trades
u.a. zuständig für Herne, Bochum, Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis, Dortmund, Kreis Unna, Hamm

Münster Chamber of Small Industries and Skilled Trades
u.a. zuständig für Bottrop, Gelsenkirchen, Kreis Recklinghausen

District Craft Trades Association Ruhr

District Craft Trades Association Duisburg

District Craft Trades Association Essen

District Craft Trades Association Hagen

District Craft Trades Association Herne

District Craft Trades Association Mülheim an der Ruhr - Oberhausen

District Craft Trades Association Recklinghausen

The International Trade Association RuhrStadt e.V., consisting of self-employed and entrepreneurs from the Ruhr region, has set the goal to promote civic, social such as entrepreneurial commitment in the region.  

INTUV RuhrStadt